Yet the liberal obsession with “academic freedom” seems a bit misplaced to me. After all, no one ever has “full freedom” in research and publication. Which research proposals receive funding and what papers are accepted for publication are always contingent on political priorities. The words used to articulate a research question can have implications for its outcome. No academic question is ever “free” from political realities. If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?
Allan Bloom predicted that the American mind would close if the trends he documented continued. Well, make that past tense: it has.
Underneath all the left-wing post-1960’s blather in this article, it’s really shocking how corporatist our elites, both in power and up and coming, have become. That’s the result of two things:
- Being raised not knowing what real freedom is, but always under some necessity to perform; and
- Having to always worry where the next grant comes from. Eliminating “politically incorrect” research slims down the pool of researchers competing with you, and that makes getting money from the trough easier.
I doubt that Ms. Korn would see it that way. But that’s the hard reality of the situation.
And since she’s invoked an early 1970’s incident of research she finds morally unacceptable, let’s remember that the hippie radicals, who howled about the idea of intelligence as being hereditary and racial in nature, also tried to blow up the computer in the Courant Institute because they didn’t like what it was doing. So no one is safe in this environment.
One more thing: Korn stated that Harvard opposes “heterosexism”. Does this mean that homosex will be mandatory for all in the future? Don’t laugh: with the bunch we have in power now, today’s absurdity is tomorrow’s reality.